After all was said and done a 7/10 window.
After the World Cup ended Chelsea went through the whole Sarri-Conte saga to come out short of time to get players through the door. The slow start picked up in the last two days of the transfer window and we finished a right winger short of having a great window.
Jorginho was the first player to come in as he immediately followed Maurizio Sarri from Napoli. Jorginho was extremely close to signing for Man City but Napoli held up the deal to see whether Chelsea would come in for him and Chelsea did as they agreed a 57 million pound deal. Jorginho takes the no 5 jersey and will perhaps be the most crucial signing of Sarri’s first transfer window. Jorginho will play at the centre of the midfield three as he dictates play and passes the ball around the field. Jorginho had a full pre-season and we saw the good and the bad in terms of the player. The positives were that Jorginho has been the centre of all of Chelsea’s attacks and has had the most touches in mostly all the games he has played. Jorginho has a very sharp mind and his understanding of Sarriball is key to implementing the system as quickly as possible. What Jorginho lacks is physicality and pace which we was evident in the Community Shield as he failed to dictate play, this though was resolved when we saw Kante play alongside him. A great signing perhaps made sweeter by the fact we stole him from City.
Rob Green followed Jorginho as our second signing of the season, he joined us on a free transfer. Now 38 years old Rob Green has enjoyed a long career with several highs and lows. Chelsea having sent Eduardo on loan to Vitesse needed a third choice goalkeeper who would fill up a squad position and Rob Green being English now allows us to add another foreign player to our squad. Rob Green played 30 odd minutes against Lyon in our last friendly and also saved the penalty which then allowed Hazard to win the game. That might be Rob Green’s only appearance in a Chelsea jersey because as of now he really is a fourth choice goalkeeper behind Kepa, Caballero, and Bulka. Rob Green can stay fit give his guidance to the younger goalies and work on his coaching credentials all while being paid by Chelsea its a great deal for him.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was signed two days ago after Chelsea paid his 80 million euro release clause to Athletic Bilbao, that price also made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. Kepa’s purchase was a buy product of Courtois forcing his transfer to Real Madrid although it was much less of a panic buy as it was revealed that talks with Kepa and Bilbao had been going on for weeks. Bilbao rejected two offers from Chelsea and with time running out Chelsea decided to pay his release clause. Kepa is 23 years old and attracted strong interest from Real Madrid in December, his medical had been completed but Zidane decided he did not want to disrupt his squad mid season. Kepa has brilliant reflexes and in a way reminds of De Gea but the De Gea that joined United. Kepa might find it difficult in the initial stages but early signs show that he will go on to become a great goalkeeper. Kepa had most of his pre-season with Bilbao and is expected to play his first game for Chelsea on Saturday, he has also signed a seven year contract.
Our final signing was made on deadline day as Mateo Kovacic joined us on a season long loan from Real Madrid. Real Madrid did not want to send Kovacic out on loan and only ended up agreeing because they wanted the Courtois deal sorted. Kovacic has been a bit part player for Real Madrid in recent seasons similar to Morata in the way that when they have played they have shown quality but have lacked chances. Kovacic is only 24 and extremely good on the ball, while he played a defensive midfield role for Madrid, at Inter he was played further forward and under Sarri we should see much more of that. Kovacic is a great addition although he will have to fight Barkley, and Loftus Cheek for the last position in the midfield three. Whether or not there is a option to buy at the end of the loan has been debated over the last few days although if he shows quality at Chelsea there is high chance he and Chelsea might force Madrid to sell him with only one year left on this contract. A midfield of Kovacic, Kante, and Jorginho could cause panic in the Premier League.
The usual amount of youth players that leave on loan have left Chelsea this season although there are a few to keep an eye on. Trevor Chalobah has joined Ipswich on loan and he has shown promise of being a top centre back for Chelsea. Reece James has joined Wigan, Dujon Sterling has joined Coventry, Lewis Baker has joined Leeds and this may be his last loan before he needs to make a decision about his future. Clarke-Salter joined Vitesse, Kenedy has joined Newcastle although his move could be made permanent, Jeremie Boga has joined Sassuolo. Perhaps the most interesting loan is that of Mason Mount who has joined Derby on loan, Derby is now coached by none other than Frank Lampard and his development will be key. Mason Mount plays the same position as Frank and already managed to score his first goal for Derby in their first game.
Thibaut Courtois –
Courtois left Chelsea on deadline day to seal his dream move to Real Madrid. Courtois enjoyed a successful four years at the club although he left on a sour note. There was no doubt that Courtois would leave Chelsea this window with him making it clear that he wanted to be with his children in Madrid. Sarri had called him for face to face talks and the fact that he did not show up for those talks even after all Chelsea have done for him over the past few years left a many fans in anger. Courtois farewell message was overrun with strong comments by Chelsea supporters and his picture of him kissing the Real Madrid badge on his first day did not help his cause. Joining Real Madrid also means that he will receive hate from Atletico supporters where he spent two seasons on loan and won La Liga. Good luck to you Thibaut but your people skills need serious work.
There could be several more outgoings at Chelsea on loan or permanently with the European windows still closing on the 31st of August.